Burundi marks World Radio Day while warning against media tarnishing country's image
The Burundian National Media Council (CNC) has warned journalists tarnishing the east African country's image, the CNC vice-chairman said Monday at the celebration of the World Radio Day.
"Media freedom is real in Burundi. This is a warning against journalists using internet to tarnish Burundi's image, who claim that there's no media freedom here (in Burundi). There are over 33 media companies including more than 24 radio stations, six television stations and three government owned media houses," CNC Vice-Chairman Gabriel Bihumugani told a press conference.
According to him, there is "good collaboration" between the CNC and media in Burundi.
The world radio day is however celebrated in the east African nation at a time when three radio stations have been banned from broadcasting since they were destroyed in the aftermath of the failed coup plot against President Pierre Nkurunziza on May 13, 2015.
The three radio stations include Radio Bonesha FM, the African Public Radio (RPA) and Radio-Television Renaissance.
The destruction of those radio stations accused of collaborating with coup plotters took place on May 14, 2015 at the announcement of the failure of the coup plot.
Bihumugani said, "Radio Bonesha FM can reopen at any time because no charges are weighing on it."
He however indicated that the place where it was based is still subject to investigations, adding that the radio stations should look for another place.
"The other two radio stations -- the African Public Radio (RPA) and Radio-Television Renaissance have said that they will reopen after inter-Burundian talks taking place in Arusha, Tanzania. But the African Public Radio (RPA) has been violating the convention linking it to the CNC through roadcasting incendiary messages," Bihumugani said.
He underlined that the CNC will "never plead" for its reopening, but rather called on jurisdictions to sue it.